He was certain technology would save the world. Here’s what changed his mind. Toyama arrived hoping to unleash his team’s technologies in places where teachers were apathetic, where headmasters weren’t focused on education and students were facing social challenges outside school. But the technology couldn’t rise above those environments.
Toyama settled on a new view of technology. It’s an amplifier of human intentions, not a cure-all for human problems. For technology to be a part of positive change, the environment it enters must already be moving in the right direction.
Toyama, who is now a professor at the University of Michigan, details his personal journey and findings in his new book “Geek Heresy: Rescuing Social Change from the Cult of Technology.”
Toyama spent a year just taking notes and thinking about the book. Then another year writing a first draft. Then three years finding a publisher. Encouraged to make it less wonky and more of a narrative, he spent another year rewriting it.